2/1/2013 2:25 P.M. ET
Royals prepping for Spring Training Surprise
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- In the midst of a cluster of boxes, bags and baseball paraphernalia in the Royals' clubhouse, a small pile of locker name placards rested on a table. On top: 5 George Brett.
Wait a minute, what year is this anyhow? Well, it's 2013 all right, and on Friday a busy contingent of clubhouse attendants and stadium workers were loading up an 18-wheeler with the team's equipment for Spring Training.
Brett hasn't played since 1993, but the Hall of Famer is not only a Royals vice president but a regular instructor at the camp in Surprise, Ariz. Along with Royals fans everywhere, he'll have an especially keen interest in the proceedings of an amped-up roster that officially begins work in 10 days.
On a 17-degree, albeit sunny, morning at Kauffman Stadium, with snow still dappling the grounds, the clubhouse was being emptied and the truck jammed with all the camp essentials, plus some.
"We have more this year because of all the Opening Day stuff," said Chuck Hawke, visiting clubhouse manager who was supervising the loading. "We have to have hats, uniforms, light and heavy jackets and all the cold weather stuff that we don't use in Arizona because we open in Chicago and then go to Philadelphia. And we have to take all the road trunks, too."
Indeed, after the Royals wrap up their Cactus League play on March 29 against the Indians, they'll fly directly to Chicago for a day off followed by a workout day before the April 1 opener against the White Sox. That three-game series will be followed by an Interleague visit to Philadelphia before the Royals finally reach Kansas City for the April 8 home opener against the Twins.
The boxes that Hawke, Pat Gorman, Tom Walsh, Jake Van Oeveren and others wrestled onto carts carried such labels as "O.D. 2013 cold gear" or "jerseys to be autographed" or "staff shoes." There were medical supplies, video machines, energy bars, sweats, hoodies and even a bicycle, a rocking chair and broadcaster Denny Matthews' golf clubs. Hey, after calling games since day one in 1969, you earn some privileges.
The truck filled up fast.
"We'll be tight but we'll make it," Hawke said.
Next stop: Surprise, Ariz.
FOX Sports to televise 142 Royals games
KANSAS CITY -- FOX Sports Kansas City will televise 142 Royals games this year, starting with two Cactus League games from Arizona.
The schedule will begin on Monday, March 25, when the Royals play the Los Angeles Dodgers at 8:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. The second Spring Training game shown will be on Wednesday, March 27, against the Chicago Cubs, also at 8:05 from Surprise.
The first of 67 regular-season road games will be on Opening Day, Monday, April 1, against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The home opener a week later against Minnesota Twins is on the schedule of 73 games from Kauffman Stadium.
In the regular season, Ryan Lefebvre will call 90 games and Steve Physioc will do the other 50. Rex Hudler will return for his second season as analyst. Joel Goldberg will be host and Jeff Montgomery the analyst on the "Royals Live" pre- and postgame shows.
In other TV news, the Royals' Salvador Perez will be featured on MLB Network's "Top 10 Right Now: Catchers" program at 9 p.m. CT on Friday.
Sweeney laments no postseason in KC
KANSAS CITY -- Former Royals captain Mike Sweeney, before being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame last Sunday, lamented never helping the team reach the postseason, especially after signing a five-year, $55-million contract in 2002.
"I was ridiculed by my agents and the (players') union for signing the deal to stay in Kansas City because, at the time, on paper I was one of the better hitters in the game and I could have gotten much more money elsewhere," Sweeney told Kary Booher of the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. "But I believed in the Glass family and thought I was going to be part of a winner in Kansas City."
There was no postseason glory, of course, and Sweeney said: "Unfortunately I let the Glass family and the fans down by not bringing a championship to Kansas City. But I have no regrets, I gave it everything I had, every single day I was in that uniform."
Sweeney was among 15 individuals and two organizations inducted this year in front of a record crowd of 1,650. Over the years, many Royals have joined the Missouri Hall including owner Ewing Kauffman, managers Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, and players George Brett, Steve Busby, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Eisenreich, Bo Jackson, Dennis Leonard, John Mayberry, Hal McRae, Jeff Montgomery, Fred Patek, Gaylord Perry, Darrell Porter, Jamie Quirk, Dan Quisenberry, Paul Splittorff, John Wathan, Frank White and Willie Wilson.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.